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Libraries and Library Services

In the United States, there are approximately 123,000 libraries, including public, academic, special collection, school, physical, and digital libraries. Librarians and other professionals who work in libraries are stewards of cultural, scientific, environmental, and historic heritages. As educators and facilitators of learning, library staff help 170 million visitors build knowledge; develop information, media, financial, civic, health, environmental, and other literacies; and increase 21st-century skills and self-efficacy. Staff use designed environments in their libraries such as makerspaces along with exhibits, specialized materials, and outreach programs to help learners of all ages. Librarians also make use of a variety of approaches and methods to close the digital divide for children, parents, caregivers, adults, and senior citizens. This entry first gives an overview of public libraries in ...

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